2nd gen Tacoma Sport for deep snow

XJim

New member
Hello, I have a question for those who regularly traverse deep snow. I have a 2013 DCLB 4x4 sport that I use to get to my cabin. It has a 3" lift and 265/70/17 BFG KO2's on factory wheels, and in snow up to about 6" off road it does great. It is about 1/2 mile down an unplowed maintained forest service road. My wife and I went up for Thanksgiving and got snowed in with about 20" of snow, it didn't help that the power went out too... lol It was a pain digging out. I did have a set of cables for the rear, they seemed to be marginally effective.
I was looking at the option to chain up the front. There is little to no room for a chain. Has anyone put on a 1 1/2" or 2" wheel spacer on the front for the winter and run chains? Also what about adding a selectable locker or detroit truetrac in the rear? Here are a couple pictures of the conditions, fresh powder.
Any help would be appreciated, I want to be better prepared for next time.
 

Attachments

nickw

Adventurer
Hello, I have a question for those who regularly traverse deep snow. I have a 2013 DCLB 4x4 sport that I use to get to my cabin. It has a 3" lift and 265/70/17 BFG KO2's on factory wheels, and in snow up to about 6" off road it does great. It is about 1/2 mile down an unplowed maintained forest service road. My wife and I went up for Thanksgiving and got snowed in with about 20" of snow, it didn't help that the power went out too... lol It was a pain digging out. I did have a set of cables for the rear, they seemed to be marginally effective.
I was looking at the option to chain up the front. There is little to no room for a chain. Has anyone put on a 1 1/2" or 2" wheel spacer on the front for the winter and run chains? Also what about adding a selectable locker or detroit truetrac in the rear? Here are a couple pictures of the conditions, fresh powder.
Any help would be appreciated, I want to be better prepared for next time.
Auto lockers can help in deep and packed snow but can be a liability in ice or glazed over snow or any off cambers.

I feel ya on the chains, my Ranger has same problem...upper control arms are really close. Best option is a dedicated set of narrower winter tires.

Chains wont help in the deeper stuff, just when it gets slick or hardpacked, but certainly wont hurt if conditions are variable. Ditch your cables and get some proper 4x4 chains, a set for all (4) tires.

This year I ordered some 16" rims and I plan on slapping some 235/85 studded Nokians....hoping it gives me room for chains.

It's my first foray into dedicated winter tires on a 4x4, I've always ran BFG ATs.
 

BC Adventurist

New member
Buy yourself a compressor and air down as low as you dare, realistically 10psi or so, and go slow and steady. The second you spin... stop, back up, and build the momentum again. If the snow is deeper than your skids, it's unlikely that chains will do anything for you as you are just going to high-center and lose traction. Your only hope is to try and float as best as possible. I've run chains in deep snow with marginal success, I've had much better success airing down (3rd and 4th gen 4Runners). Chains are best suited for hard/glazed snow and ice, frozen mud/dirt, etc.

Must admit the realistic options for that much snow are very limited, you need pretty big tires to get enough floatation in a 2nd gen taco, which won't fit or will prove to be a nightmare. Trutrac would be nice though, a friend of mine had them in his jeep and it was a beast in the snow considering his tire size.

I hope the driveway out was downhill; that looks like a ton of work to dig out by hand.
 

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knoxswift

Active member
I live @7000 ft and deal with deep snow and chains. I have went with changing my gearing for my lift I Installed a Detroit Trutrac.
This has been the #1 best mod. The electronic lsd is ok but doesn't work in 4x4. Helps with rear chains but not much when switched to 4x4. The traction control gets in the way in snow and needs to be disabled. This is the gap in the sport setting for the electronics and where the Trutrac comes in as a great addition.
If you want chains on the front you would have to go tall/skinny tire setup. I did this for a year keeping 2 sets of tires but that becomes a pain after a while.
Adding spacers will actually result in the need for more trimming for turning clearance.
 

grogie

Like to Camp
I live @7000 ft and deal with deep snow and chains. I have went with changing my gearing for my lift I Installed a Detroit Trutrac.
This has been the #1 best mod. The electronic lsd is ok but doesn't work in 4x4. Helps with rear chains but not much when switched to 4x4. The traction control gets in the way in snow and needs to be disabled. This is the gap in the sport setting for the electronics and where the Trutrac comes in as a great addition.
I have front and rear TrueTracs in my Jeep and they're awesome in snow, or just any slippery condition. Not to highjack this thread, but I just bought a '19 TRD OR with the rear locker (first time I've had a locker, and not sure how much I'll use it?). I assume that Tacoma's can have a TrueTrac in the front? Also, does the Tacoma's traction control system work okay with TrueTracs? Or do you just always turn it off? Thanks.
 

fwd_josh

New member
Get some weight in the bed, it makes a huge difference in traction. With the composite beds, there is not a lot of weight in the back of these trucks. I have an 05 DCLB sport, and with a HC rear, camper shell and around 300 lbs of sandbags nothing really stops me here in NE Illinois.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Buy yourself a compressor and air down as low as you dare, realistically 10psi or so, and go slow and steady. The second you spin... stop, back up, and build the momentum again. ... Your only hope is to try and float as best as possible.
This is everything in a nutshell. Low and slow is the tempo! Gotta try to float and keep the tires turning slow.
 

norcaltoy

New member
Seems surprising 20" of snow was enough to get you stuck if it was fresh powder

Generally airing down and/larger more aggressive tires is the easiest and most effective.

Chaining up the front can be a crap shoot because even if a spacer allows you to clear the suspension it might put you into contact with body/bunper/mud flap etc
 
Prev posts are all on track. Low and slow. Drive like you have a egg under the gas pedal. You defenately need to air down. 2 to 5 pounds in deep snow as long as you arent spinning the tires works great. Or invest in bead locks and just pull the valve cores. First thing I would buy is a winch. Going in alone is dangerouse and recovery is top requirements for me. Lockers will get you stuck deeper if you dont have the other things in place. Lots of side wall. As a long time jeeper we wanted small rims and big fat tires. Now everyone wants big rims and a small sidewall. That is not the correct thinking in offroad. Side wall flex and give will give you more traction.
Good luck
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Winter tires. Plus all the slow, reverse, momentum comments above...image.jpeg

Not stuck here, stopped for the photo, backed up 5', and kept going.
No tire spin and note that aggressive winter tire tread.
Winter tires work by packing snow into all the sipes and sticking like a snowball.
As soon as you spin a tire, you lose traction. You cannot beat a good winter tire in deep snow.
 
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nickw

Adventurer
Winter tires. Plus all the slow, reverse, momentum comments above...View attachment 557679

Not stuck here, stopped for the photo, backed up 5', and kept going.
No tire spin and note that aggressive winter tire tread.
Winter tires work by packing snow into all the sipes and sticking like a snowball.
As soon as you spin a tire, you lose traction. You cannot beat a good winter tire in deep snow.
+1 regarding winter tires over aggressive AT or MT tires in the snow.
 

Smileyshaun

Observer
Deep snow you want a more aggressive tire , icy snow you want a AT/winter tire with lots of sipes . Airing down is the biggest part of playing in the snow , the deeper the snow the more you want to float and stay on top of it . Also the kind of snow makes a huge difference fluffy fresh powder most any vehicle I can drive through feet of it if you get to the icy hard pack kind of snow well it just sucks no matter what you’re in LOL.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
There are places for massive flotation tires... and places where they are not practical.
One should always consider what the OP is saying.

28517141_640.jpg
 

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shade

Well-known member
Hello, I have a question for those who regularly traverse deep snow. I have a 2013 DCLB 4x4 sport that I use to get to my cabin. It has a 3" lift and 265/70/17 BFG KO2's on factory wheels, and in snow up to about 6" off road it does great. It is about 1/2 mile down an unplowed maintained forest service road. My wife and I went up for Thanksgiving and got snowed in with about 20" of snow, it didn't help that the power went out too... lol It was a pain digging out. I did have a set of cables for the rear, they seemed to be marginally effective.
I was looking at the option to chain up the front. There is little to no room for a chain. Has anyone put on a 1 1/2" or 2" wheel spacer on the front for the winter and run chains? Also what about adding a selectable locker or detroit truetrac in the rear? Here are a couple pictures of the conditions, fresh powder.
Any help would be appreciated, I want to be better prepared for next time.
Welcome to ExPo! 👋

Front cables or chains will be difficult to fit on your truck. Rear chains can be useful, but you won't want to drive very fast with them.

If you decide to improve the open differentials, don't install an auto-locker; a surprise lock-up on the road won't be fun. A mechanical LSD will perform better than the AutoLSD (ABS derived traction aid) on your truck.

If you do a lot of snow driving, a second set of mounted winter tyres may serve you well. The type of tyre will depend on the conditions. You didn't mention what you're using now. How much hard pack and ice do you normally see?

Carry a long handle shovel when driving in deep snow. A hoe or similar tool can also be a big help once your truck is high centered.
 

nickw

Adventurer
Deep snow you want a more aggressive tire , icy snow you want a AT/winter tire with lots of sipes . Airing down is the biggest part of playing in the snow , the deeper the snow the more you want to float and stay on top of it . Also the kind of snow makes a huge difference fluffy fresh powder most any vehicle I can drive through feet of it if you get to the icy hard pack kind of snow well it just sucks no matter what you’re in LOL.
I see guys talk about flotation a lot, I honestly have never been in a situation where floatation would have helped. We see the Icelandic trucks, buts it's a niche environment with tires that are in no way practical. Larger diameter tires can help with underbody clearance, but they are still digging down and/or compacting snow.
 
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